Boston: Authorities have banned bags and runners are already being warned about new dos and don’ts for the Boston Marathon as part of stepped-up security following last year’s deadly bombings that rocked the popular annual event in the US.

Marathon officials said they would issue a new, warmer type of cape for race finishers who will have a longer walk to get their bag of clothes after the race scheduled in April.

The Marathon last year turned tragic when bombs hidden inside backpacks went off near the finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others.

The Boston Athletic Association, which organises the race, issued a series of new rules and restrictions in a mass e-mail yesterday.

Runners who like to run in costume won’t be allowed to wear anything that covers their face or bulky clothes; strollers won’t be allowed at the Athletes’ Village near the starting line in Hopkinton or around the finish line on Boylston Street; neither will backpacks, glass containers, any container that can carry more than 1 liter of liquid, vests with pockets, or suitcases and rolling bags, local media said.

People will also be forbidden from wearing backpacks that carry water — such as CamelBaks. Props like sports and military equipment will be banned, as well as flags or signs that are wider than 11 inches and longer than 17 inches.

Bags will be banned on the buses that carry runners from Boston Common to Hopkinton, where the race starts. And no bags will be brought by those buses back to Boston.

Instead, runners can check bags with personal items on Boston Common, take the bus to Hopkinton, run back, and then retrieve their bags.

Runners can carry fanny packs and fuel belts.

“For the 2014 Boston Marathon, with an increased field size and for everyone’s safety, we will work with public safety officials to ensure that we preserve the exceptional race day experience that makes the Boston Marathon an icon in the world of sport while making race day safe and enjoyable for all,” the e-mail said.

Free Press Journal

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